How to choose a bridal gown?

Sometimes, I marvelled at the fact, that woman can do so many things all at one time.. Usually I have my day planned few days before.. and it can be fully packed, often you wish you have a quick break.

I took a heavy breakfast, knowing that my next meal could be tonight at 11pm.. and true enough, I just had my dinner at 11.10am... Today is another bridal gown shopping trip with my new bride, Kin. Kin is a fun bride, who is not pretentious, basically someone who knows what she wants. I remembered her comment "I do not need Lavish, dramatic gown, something simple that I can mingle around with my friends, but I do have a budget constraint, what will you suggest, Hannah"

And I understood where she came from. To me, I do not believe in shopping down the whole stretch of bridal shops in Tanjong Pagar, and get bombarded with hard pressed sales, claiming theirs the best. Choosing a gown is all about understanding what looks good on you and what enhances you.. and not choosing a gown that is mere pretty, and overwhelms to the point you are shadowed by it.
I have seen simple gowns but when it is worn on the right bride, the bride looks gorgeous, but I have also seen a pretty and elaborate gown, and when it is worn, my bride's been hidden in it.

So how do you choose a gown? I do not claim to be an expert, but having a passion and working previously in fashion, I think I can share my 2 cents worth.

  1. First, buy some bridal magazines, up to date local as well as imported ones, and not some old fashioned, cheesy bridal magazines.. find out what are the upcoming trends, and look at the gown options, even though majority looks good as they are shot at the right angle with the right model, you will find yourself falling in love with consistent designs that you would like to have for your wedding. I called this your dream gown. My dream gown was very different from what people think I would like...My first dream gown was a low back in a chiffon material, with simple short train, and a spaghetti V-neckline. Now do I look good on that, only later I realised I only look good if I work real hard in toning my tummy and wear a four inch stilettos :) that's why I call this a dream gown...

  2. Next, ask yourself, what are your past collections of dresses that look good on you? Was it a empire silhouette, a halter neck with mermaid silhouette, bustier with A-Line silhouette etc. Most of us generally have a good feel what looks good on us. And go for those selections, because usually it will not go wrong. Even if it may not be your best silhouette, you can rest assured you would not hate it when the designers design such for you.

  3. Thirdly, always dare to try something different from your usual collections. For e.g. bustier gown is always safe for most bodies shape, so you may want to try out of the norm -an empire cut with slight tapered waistline. Contrary to many believe that empire cut does not show any figure and may make one looks fat or shapeless... I have seen many women including myself, looking sexy and feminine in such silhouette. Somehow with the right neckline and details, empire silhouette does make many ladies look good.. unless you are really skinny, and your bust line is very very, small... So you never know, you may discover a new silhouette that looks good on you..

  4. After you have tried what's usually good on you, and what's unique, then ask yourself, what kind of details attract you, embroidery, laces, sequence, or crystals applications. coloured details. long or short train/veil etc etc.. and tell those details to the designer.. so they know what draws you... but at the same time, give them the space to recommend what they think may look good on you.. and explore the options together.

  5. Finally, learn to go with your heart. I always tell my bride, if after you walk out of the shop, and you don't remember the gown you wore earlier, then none of that is what you want. Choose that gown or design that kept you pondering and thinking.. most likely you have begun to fall in love with that gown..

With the above tips, it clearly tells you that you don't need to shop for days for a wedding gown, take half a day off, and schedule those boutiques you want to visit, and trust me by the end of the third or fourth shops, you know what you want.. and it's that simple..

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